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Harald: Incontinence – a disorder just to accept?

The control of the bladder and bowel is a substantial function of the human body in order to guarantee an undisturbed daily life. Any impairment of this ability can lead to a marked deterioration in the quality of life. Although this disorder does not directly threaten the individual’s life, the social and emotional problems associated with it can be enormous. Loss of contact with family and friends, the inability to work as well as many other factors lead to isolation of the patient and a marked reduction in quality of life.

Childbirth, obesity and surgical and traumatic injuries that have occurred at any age can be associated with the beginning of urinary, faecal or even combined incontinence.

Although many patients have tolerated this situation silently in the past, driven by shame and embarrassment, the financial burden to the health care system as a result of their inability to seek treatment has increased dramatically in the last few decades.

Owing to a growing knowledge of the mechanisms leading to incontinence, experimental and clinical research has been able to achieve approaches that will lead to an improvement in the therapy for a large number of patients. This issue of Hamdan Medical Journal has the opportunity to present a review of the present state-of-the-art management options for incontinence, as reported by some of the leading experts in the fields of gynaecology, urology and coloproctology. These articles show the possibilities of conservative as well as surgical treatments provided by medical faculties; however, they also demonstrate the necessity for an interdisciplinary approach for many of the patients affected by this disorder.

Readers of this issue have the opportunity to receive a complete insight into the management of urinary, as well as faecal, incontinence and to see that the majority of patients can look forward to achieving a marked improvement in their condition or even complete cure.

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